Nations Unhappily Held Together 270


Media commentary on today’s appeals before the Supreme Court misses entirely the main point – that the highest courts of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may each have been legally correct in their differing judgements, because each was judging according to a different legal system. I shall here leave Northern Ireland aside through my personal ignorance of its legal system, for which I apologise.

The legal systems of England and of Scotland have equal status in the Act of Union. The Supreme Court is required to decide on the Scottish (Joanna Cherry) case under Scots law, and required to decide on the English (Gina Miller) case under English law. The Scottish legal tradition has always emphasised the sovereignty of the people, a tradition that can be traced back through the Claim of Right to the Declaration of Arbroath, which four centuries before Hobbes and Locke made the contractual relationship between people and King explicit:

Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule.

It is the last phrase which stirs the blood and is most often repeated; but it is the first part, the claim to a contractual relationship between sovereign and subject, which was way in advance of any other recorded thinking in medieval Europe.

In its appeal today against the Scottish decision the UK government makes an astonishing admission of the Westminster view of Scotland. Notwithstanding the very specific provision of the Act of Union that the legal systems of Scotland and England are equal, the view taken by Boris Johnson’s government in their appeal is that “it would be most astonishingly inconvenient if, notwithstanding that England and Scotland have been united since 1707” the Scottish courts should have the temerity to question the Westminster parliament. There can seldom have been a clearer statement that No. 10 sees Scotland as having de facto colonial status.

Joanna Cherry responds to this point in her pleadings:

The answer to the appellant’s complaint that “it would be most astonishingly inconvenient if, notwithstanding that England and Scotland have been united since 1707” the UK Executive might be subject to greater scrutiny and more readily called to account before court based on the north bank of the Tweed as compared to those on its south bank is simply this: don’t be persuaded by complaints of inconvenient for the Executive that it is even open to this court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction to lower Scots law standards, in this regard, to that which is regarded as properly justiciable before the courts of England and Wales. Let English law, if it is deficient in this regard, be brought up to the standards by which the Executive is called to account under Scots law. That is what is required of this court, acting as a constitutional court for the Union as a whole.

In summary, against the foregoing background, the respondents reiterate as follows:
(1)
This court must take full and proper account of the Scottish constitutional tradition in deciding this appeal. There is no necessary correlation between Scots law and English law on the question of what prerogative powers the Executive may claim and how they
might lawfully be exercised.

(2)
Esto there be any difference between Scots law’s and English law’s respective understandings on the limitations which the law imposes on the Executive’s power to prorogue Parliament (which is not known and not admitted), that constitutional tradition within these islands and this Union polity which is more
limiting of the manner in which the Executive may exercise this power to prorogue Parliament is to be preferred, the better to ensure the Executive’s democratic and legal accountability for the use of this power and to prevent its abuse of that power in an unlawful attempt to shift the proper constitutional balance of power among the three pillars of State and allow it unconstitutionally to dominate and so govern without due and proper regard to, Parliament.

Cherry argues that the Scottish legal tradition should be preferred because holding the executive to account is a good thing for the UK as a whole. But this does not really address the question (which to be fair she could not as she is only a party to the Scottish case) that the English judgement in the Miller case might have been correct in English law.

It may seem strange that the same judges decide the Scottish case under Scottish law and the English case under English law, when in each case the panel will have members who trained and practised their whole lives in a different legal system. But that is precisely how British colonialism works. Exactly those same judges, in exactly the same building, but with the different title of “The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council” may hear appeals from British colonies under the legal system of that colony. So for example they may resolve a land dispute under the customary law on landholdings of the British Virgin Isles. It is a remarkable hangover from formal Empire that they remain the Supreme Court of even some independent Commonwealth countries.

The dilemma facing the Supreme Court today is Scotland’s de facto colonial status. This will necessitate a fudge. Despite the submission of Joanna Cherry, if the Court were to find that the English judgement were correct under English law and the Scottish judgement were correct under Scots law, the court would be most unlikely to prefer one over the other – in contravention of the Act of Union. My strong expectation therefore is that the Court will avoid this dilemma by a judgement that either the English judges or the Scottish judges were wrong under the terms their own law. That is to day they will find the English judges incorrectly interpreted English law or the Scottish judges incorrectly interpreted Scots law. They will thus avoid the dilemma of preferring one over the other.

I should be most surprised if the Establishment did not claim the Scottish judges did not understand Scots law, and prefer England and the Executive of Boris Johnson, because that is the Establishment. But Brexit and populism have made life much more difficult to predict.

The Supreme Court’s decisions will have a profound effect. Either the power of the judiciary will be reined back in Scotland and there will be a major boost in the power of the Executive, thus changing Scottish legal tradition. Or the power of the Executive will be reined back in England and there will be a major boost to judicial activism, changing English legal tradition. In either case, either England or Scotland will have the right to complain that its legal tradition is not being treated by the UK Supreme Court with the respect it is due under the Treaty of Union. Which is yet a further example of the increasing impossibility of continuing the unhappy and unequal union of countries now so politically and culturally different as England and Scotland.

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270 thoughts on “Nations Unhappily Held Together

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  • Wikikettle

    I watched the proceedings at the Supreme Court today. Lord so and so referencing bundle XYZ123 paragraph 42 in the case of Regina 1752 as yet another precedent in favour of his case…. and so forth….I was bored senseless. Cheered up later to hear Tulsi Gabbard’s, in contrast, coherent and easy to understand, short but oh so sweet message to Trump….”we are not your Prostitutes and you are not our Pimp”….Oh that Jeremy could be so Judicious..or even your Nicola….

    • robert young

      Well, Aidan O’Neill QC (against the government) is now holding the stage and he has brought light to the precedings with a virtuoso performance that knocks the other lawyers into touch. I think if you examine some of his submissions and listen to his hesitation-free speech you might change your mind about being bored.

      • Wikikettle

        robert young, yes he was more combative, but my problem with our judiciary is that it serves the state not justice, as with its handling of Julian’s outrageous incarceration. If ever there was a case where the Judicary could demonstrate their high and mighty robed and lorded independence, this was it and they failed.

        • robert young

          But O’Neill was not serving the state and is singularly attacking it. All other points agreed.

  • giyane

    Satan, otherwise known as Erdogan, is breaking international law by sending Syrian refugees back to the Syrian war zone.
    The Bullingdon boys are personal friends of Satan Erdogan and they want this NATO criminal’s army to buy British Steel.

    Cameron’s memoirs say nothing about Bullingdon criminality in Libya and Syria and the attempt to install Islamist terror in both countries.. Boris Johnson takes no responsibility whatsoever for British su0ort for terror in Libya and Syria either.

    Can anyone explain to me why anybody thinks The Spaffer will take responsibility for No Deal?
    Spiffer and Spaffer are like two dogs lost in the London smog. Satan soon as they turn the corner you tell never see them again.

    Their only function as heads of state is to do Zion’s bidding. As soon as done they are rounded up by the great dog catcher in the sky and buried in the garden by the gypsy caravan.
    There will be no consequences to UK laws from anything going on in the UK you will be glad to hear. They do nothing but serve the colonial empirez2 interests of oil theft in the middle east . Israel has just droned Saudi refineries to blame Iran

    • Laguerre

      “The Bullingdon boys are personal friends of Satan Erdogan”

      You are allowing your hatred of Turks to run away with you. Cameron and Johnson (in spite of his Ottoman descent) are not friends of Erdogan. They were/are only weaponising Turkey to use it against the EU, as the EU has declared itself Turcosceptic.

      • giyane

        Laguerre

        I love Turks and Turkey. Islamism isvwhhat happens when you de-Islamise a society by money or war and then re-introduce the fighting without re-introducing the main body of knowledge of Islam. What you get is intellectually modified to suit the requirements of the enemies of Islam.

        Like Robert Graves and the Greek colonels I’m not going to Turkey till Satan Erdogan digests himself from the Great Satan and the Little Satan who lives in no. 10.

    • Hatuey

      I don’t believe the story that Erdogan has realigned Turkey away from the West and that the Turkey is now part of some imagined Russian alliance. The country remains a NATO member.

      I guess the above is intended for domestic (Turkish) consumption only.

      Turkey is a country that I’d never visit. It’s often the case that those who help the evil-doers of the world become even more reprehensible than the evil-doers themselves.

      Turkey’s systematic annihilation of the Kurds over the last 30 years was genocidal, up there with the worst atrocities you’ll find in the history books.

      We can expect that Turkish leaders will want to continue with that project at some point. Doing so, as before, will require Western weapons and support and, to return to my first point, I think we can assume they will get it.

      • kathy

        The Turks are good at genocide. Remember the Armenians and Assyrians. Unfortunately, it has to be said that the Kurds aided and abetted them in these massacres so now they are getting a taste of their own medicine.

      • Wikikettle

        Hatuey. Nations unhappily held together… The 1982 Film Yol by Guney..was very powerful and well worth watching. Another countryA

        • Hatuey

          I vaguely remember that film. Might be worth looking at again.

          I got to know a Kurdish family through my kids at school. I heard first hand about their treatment in Turkey where as I understand it the word “Kurd” and all derivatives are illegal.

          Anyway, things worked out good for them but the authorities here were constantly threatening them with deportation and that went on for years. It was very stressful for all of us.

          • Old Mark

            The immense problems Kurds have hitherto faced in becoming a fully fledged nation derive from 2 things, first, the absence of natural boundaries to their national territory- they are essentially a highland people, with Arabs Turks and and distant cousins Iranians surrounding them. Second the various dialects are not mutually intelligible- ‘Kurdish’ dialects vary quite a bit more than, say Scots or Irish Gaelic do.

            What they do share is resentment at their treatment by their Turkish, Arab or Iranian masters. Hence one of the reasons Yol is such a landmark film, presenting as it does Turkish Kurds behaving badly to each other as a consequence of their political impotence. And as Wilikettle says, it is well worth watching.

          • Hatuey

            I’m sorry, old mark, the “problems Kurds have hitherto faced in becoming a fully fledged nation derive” more than anything from western involvement. All of those countries you mention that persecuted and slaughtered the Kurds did so with our active support. There’s one example where that wasn’t simply the case, involving Iran, where the Kurds were encouraged then abandoned, but their plight can be understood quite bluntly in terms of whatever suited the west in its determination to control oil supplies.

          • kathy

            ” “problems Kurds have hitherto faced in becoming a fully fledged nation derive” more than anything from western involvement”

            Unfortunately, every country that is in a position of weakness, suffers from western involvement so they are not alone.

    • Denton Scratch

      This has what, exactly, to do with the Supreme Court’s deliberations? How is this a comment on Craig’s original post?

      • giyane

        Denton Scratch

        Good point. British politicians are brilliant at burying bad news under a mountain of hyperbole. Classic Albion perfidy, distracting the attention of the shopkeeper to pinch stuff.

        I’m so sorry the complexity of British colonial theft is clever and coordinated.
        I’m sure you’d prefer it if nobody noticed what was going on.

        • Jimmeh

          “I’m so sorry the complexity of British colonial theft is clever and coordinated.
          I’m sure you’d prefer it if nobody noticed what was going on.”

          Oh, come on. You have no idea what I’d prefer; in particular, you have no grounds for trying to smear me as a colonialist.

          You injected a lengthy, off-topic rant about the President of Turkey into a discussion about the present hearing of the Supreme Court, (possibly) to decide between conflicting decisions of two lower courts. None of these courts or cases has anything to do with Turkey or Erdogan. One of the principals, Johnson, has Turkish ancestry, so I’m told; but even that isn’t relevant unless you can show relevance.

          It’s not as if conversation about these legal matters had dried up, and we all needed something new to talk about. On the contrary, everyone but you was interested in talking about CM’s article.

          I was complaining that you were off topic;and so you try to smear me as a colonialist. Nice line in debating.

    • fedup

      “Satan, otherwise known as Erdogan, is breaking international law by sending Syrian refugees back to the Syrian war zone.”

      There is no war in Syria, the terrorists have been comprehensively wiped out and Assad is consolidating his power and keeping his country in one piece. That is much to the chagrin of his zionist neighbour (ala natansatan who is now looking for a comfortable leisure suit for his jail days), and the al Saud pederasts, who are now having got a taste of their own medicine are left screaming like stuffed pigs and finger pointing.

  • michael norton

    if The Supreme Court Judges unanimously find against our present administration, there will be little chance of it hanging on and Boris will have to trot up to Balmoral to ask the Queen if he can resign.
    There will then be a little chat and it will be decided that Boris will re-open Parliament and tell them he has seen the Queen and offered his resignation.
    A General Election is the be called as Boris and the Queen see no way around this Parliamentry impasse.
    Therefore a date is to announced for the General Election, Parliament will be prorogued and Boris will remain as caretaker Prime minister.

    • Martinned

      That assumes that no one else is available who is more likely to have the confidence of the House of Commons than Johnson.

      • michael norton

        No, if the Queen agrees with Boris Johnson that after his drubbing by the Supreme Court he must resign, the Queen will then agree to Boris calling a General Election and the Queen will ask him to hang on as Prime minister untill the results of the election are known, if Boris is bashed at the forthcoming election then he is toast, step forward Jo Swinson, who really, really wants to be Prime minister but that will end in Catastrophe.

        • N_

          @Michael – You are mistaken. Neither the prime minister nor the monarch has the authority to call a general election. It is no longer a royal prerogative power. You need to read the Fixed-term Parliaments Act.

          Crib card
          There are exactly 4 ways an election can be called:
          1. Wait until 2022.
          2. Two-thirds of MPs vote for it in the Commons.
          3. Government loses VONC and then no government wins a VOC within a fortnight.
          4. Legislation is enacted to amend or repeal the FTPA.

          If Boris Johnson resigns with immediate effect,
          * there will have to be a new prime minister (who may or may not be a caretaker), and
          * there will not have to be an election (although there may very well be one).

          If you look at this from a Tory Partei point of view (I mean what’s good for the Partei – and believe me, the Partei has been an extremely useful tool for the British ruling class for a very long time) you will realise that an important part of the consideration is that they will NOT want to go into a general election without a credible LEADER.

          Much of their market has extremely low intelligence and gets off on things like Boris Johnson raising his fists in victory for the cameras, shot from behind, after coming back from getting his a*se kicked all over the place on the continent.

          As for Labour, it’s not quite a rerun of how Gordon “War Criminal” Brown lost the election in 2010 when the tape was released of his insulting Gillian Duffy behind her back, but in my view Jeremy Corbyn has probably just lost the coming election by saying he will be neutral in the third Brexit referendum he promises to hold.

          Many internet commenters have realised the predictive weight of leadership polls. Well this is why they have such predictive weight: it’s because idiot voters like to vote for parties with strong leaders so they can deny to themselves how weak they are, day in, day out, in their cr*ppy lives.

          I thought for a while that Stephen Bannon and Dominic Cummings might actually want a Labour victory under Corbyn, but if that were the case he’d be getting better advice. Admittedly he is playing with a very weak hand, and generally he and Seumas Milne have played it extremely well, but no, sorry, he is not going to win saying let’s pass the Brexit decision to the knucklehead Powellite masses in their white hoods “the people” and stand back while they decide.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            I call inconsistency. You can’t argue that there’s no such thing as a stupid person and then describe supporters of Johnson as having “extremely low intelligence”. If they rely on the Mail, the Express, the Sun and the Telegraph for their world view then they are extremely poorly informed. That much can be asserted with confidence.

          • N_

            All right, well they are in the habit of being extremely poorly informed and not realising it.

            I’ve been racking my brain thinking of what advice I would give to Jeremy Corbyn. Perhaps he should say the “Deal or No Deal” question is an insult to the electorate, because this is not a gameshow, and that a Labour government would hold meetings around the country to find out what kind of deal would satisfy most people, whether that means a good withdrawal deal or a revision of Britain’s status within the EU, and that then there will be a referendum to decide among at least two good options. I appreciate he can’t come down firmly now for either Leave or Remain, and that the Tories are going to campaign on “immigration, immigration, immigration”. He has to seize the “let’s take the country forward and move on from all the fighting” ticket somehow. A hard task. He won’t win on “Tories tell lies all the time and only we care about the NHS”.

        • Republicofscotland

          “Jo Swinson, who really, really wants to be Prime minister but that will end in Catastrophe.”

          The vile creature that is Swinson hasn’t a hope in hell of becoming PM. She knows that, and like any also ran in a race can afford to spout any old garbage because she’ll never have to make good on it.

          She has a five thousand majority in her constituency, oh how I’d love to see her out on her arse at the next GE, which there is more chance of happening than her becoming PM.

    • Reg

      There is zero chance of the supreme court finding against the present administration as this would be interference by the judiciary in the political process that the London high court upheld. In theory the courts of London and Scotland are of equal standing, but not in effect as Scottish constitutional law is different to English constitutional law, so as the Supreme court that has final judgment is resident in London they are likely to uphold the interpretation by London’s high court.
      I regard the Scottish court of sessions judgment as an unconstitutional interference in the political process, particularly as the previous Scottish judgment was the peroration was legal. David Allen Green contributor on law to the FT regards the chances of the Scottish Court of Sessions being upheld by the Supreme court as “zero”.

      https://www.ft.com/content/43a146f0-1493-3751-baa2-affa28e809e9

      • kathy

        “There is zero chance of the supreme court finding against the present administration as this would be interference by the judiciary in the political process that the London high court upheld. In theory the courts of London and Scotland are of equal standing, but not in effect as Scottish constitutional law is different to English constitutional law, so as the Supreme court that has final judgment is resident in London they are likely to uphold the interpretation by London’s high court.”

        The supreme court in London has no jurisdiction over Scottish law. The courts of London and Scotland are of equal standing but only in their own domains.

        • Old Mark

          The supreme court in London has no jurisdiction over Scottish law

          Well then, it’ll be up to the troughers at Holyrood to act and do something about this intolerable state of affairs won’t it?- namely the UK Supreme Court ignoring Scots Law jurisdiction in this area.

          Don’t hold your breath…

          • kathy

            What troughers at Holyrood? Are you sure you are not confusing Holyrood with Westminster which really is full of troughers?

            I don’t understand your second point.

  • Martinned

    When I read the judgment of the Inner House, I was looking out for exactly this. But much to my surprise the court was citing post-1707 English case law as if it was Scots law. Basically, the found that the relevant Scots and English law were basically the same. Eg. in par. 81:

    Thus, while we heard much from Mr O’Neill on behalf of the petitioners which was both interesting and stirring about a particularly Scottish tradition of holding the Crown, in its various manifestations, to account, for present purposes (and not having actually identified any material differences between the applicable Scots law and the corresponding English law) Mr O’Neill was, to an extent, pushing at an open door; however only to an extent.

    That seems odd, because at a minimum you’d think that these issues would be matters of first impression in Scotland, having so far only arisen in England.

    In the end, the key case the Inner House relied on, R (Barclay) v Lord Chancellor (No 2) [2015] AC 276, one of the Sark cases, is probably best described as English in name only. (It was brought in the English High Court originally, but it’s about the Crown’s relationship with Sark, and with the Crown Dependencies more broadly.)

      • Ken Kenn

        it is interesting to note that the accused has not given an affidavit to the Court and has not appeared to defend his and his governments reasons not for proroguing but the length of the proguement.

        The excuse that – ” We didn’t want to spoil other parties Conferences M’Luds ” isn’t exactly great evidence.

        The fact that Johnson ( and other members of the government ) won’t give evidence on Oath is pretty telling.

        Imagine Johnson saying to the Learned Judges:

        ” You know me – I always tell lies- don’t you belive me? ”

        Not so much the Green of Hulk but the colour of custard.

        A Cowardy Cowardy Custard.

        Deep down the man is scared of booing and criticism.

        Like Trump – I blame theparents.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Yeh, based on a Scotland in Union poll that asks a non-standard question, skewed to get the answer they want. The joke is that although this poll cannot be compared to those that ask the standard question (Yes / No) it can be compared to previous Scotland in Union polls that asked the same, skewed question and if you do that, the trend is terrible reading for Unionists.

      • Hatuey

        Didn’t they run that poll on their own website, a website that would attract visitors who are mainly pro-Unionist anyway?

        Scotland in Union also ran a petition for a suspiciously long period too, measurable in years if I remember correctly.

        They’re obviously panicking.

        • Republicofscotland

          Lets not forget that SIU are attempting with Tories to rig the next indyref by calling for a two-thirds majority, they realky are shitting themselves now.

          This however has been thrown out by the Venice commission, which is the advisory body to the Council of Europe, who oppose such thresholds.

          Meanwhile the dubious Electoral commission has fined the Scottish Unionist Association Trust (SUAT) (Paltry amounts if you ask me) for failing to report over £200,000 pounds of dark money donations. Its thought dark money donations have been keeping the Scottish Tory branch office afloat for years.

          https://www.thenational.scot/news/17907846.snp-demand-tories-come-clean-ties-dark-money-trust/

          Lastly nasty party (Toy branch office Scotland) MP Douglas Ross has left his constituents even more furious than before, what with the uncertainty over Brexit, as he lines his own pockets instead, running the line at the Bayern Munich vs Red Star Belgrade Champions League football match tonight.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            TBF, Parliament is prorogued and he’s going to be out of a job in a few weeks, so Ross might as well earn a few bob, “running the line”.

          • Republicofscotland

            Tell that to his constituents, I doubt it will bring them any comfort, especially for those who didn’t vote him in.

    • John2o2o

      “Nicola Sturgeon’s performance as First Minister is turning Scots against independence”

      – I think those who are undecided may indeed be put off by Sturgeon. I asked an uncle of mine in Scotland about his views in July. He was inclined to unionism anyway, but expressed annoyance with Sturgeon for forever talking about independence and not really doing anything about it. My other two uncles in Scotland are pro independence.

      • kathy

        The only people who talk a lot about independence are the anti-independence parties – especially Ruth Davidson before she resigned. In fact, that appeared to be her ONLY policy.

    • Mist001

      She hasn’t turned me against independence but she has certainly turned me against ever voting for the SNP again.

      • nevermind

        Mist 001, you might have realised that some here have been reading Craigs blog for some while.
        This blog is a place of truth, and, perhaps, hope.
        Could you please switch of your eight day repeater, you have made your points on the issue of loyalty to a party clear and, its your prerogative, you can switch your allegiance to whatever tickles your fancy.
        We like some of your posts, but dont become a bore.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Composition of the Supreme Court? At least two, youngish Judges went to law school in Edinburgh. The English Judges are just the predicable products of Oxbridge like Johnson. Think they will agree with him: it’s just politics and none of the court’s business. If it doesn’t, it could cast aspersions on the ancient Queen.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The finding in the Court of Session was at least in part informed by Johnson’s reputation as a supremely mendacious operator.
    Today he was confronted on a visit to a hospital, children’s ward by an angry parent. The confrontation develops.
    “…. and now you come here for a press opportunity.”
    “There’s no press here.”
    “What do you mean there’s no press here, who are these people.” (gesturing)

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-49740419/boris-johnson-confronted-on-east-london-hospital-visit

    Fantastic stuff. This’ll go down with Diana Gould confronting Thatcher on Nationwide over the sinking of the Belgrano.
    Serious question, WTF can’t our highly paid journalists perform like this? Rhetorical question, we know (should know) the answer (see Chomsky).

    • N_

      Great dialogue. And the video shows those officials looking horrified and scared that somebody is expressing real feelings about real stuff and doing it lucidly, as if to overturn the prestige of the prime minister in such a way is to overturn the entire belief system they have comforted their pathetic selves with throughout the whole of their sorry lives. A truly British moment.

      It was “Well actually, there’s no press here”. Let’s not forget the “actually” 🙂

      Contrary to widespread belief, people often speak lucidly and extremely well when angry.

      • N_

        (This is assuming they are genuinely trying to say what they are really angry about, so it excludes most Powellite scum who don’t admit what they areLeaver types and also most Scottish chauvinists independence supporters.)

        • kathy

          There is no comparison between Scottish independence supporters and brexiters. On the whole, Scottish independence supporters are a decent bunch of people.

      • N_

        Those faces of the four officials standing behind the two having the conversation! It’s such a British picture. You know they are thinking “That filthy parent type is well out of order, showing us up like this.” You know that if he was arrested at dawn and tortured to death in the public square they’d think “How common, leaking all that blood. Glad I’m not like that.” They obviously think he’s got no right to talk as he does. I wonder who they think their employers are. I wonder what they think hospitals are for?

    • Greg Park

      He got a good roasting. It’s why senior Tories are kept well away from unvetted members of the unwashed.

    • Republicofscotland

      Yeah well done to that guy for telling Johnson like it is, he’d probably expected the guy to have been vetted first like most of the vile politicians do.

      Looking at the hospital bigwig with Johnson , its likely the guy will be sacked or transferred somewhere less public, where his views cannot be heard by the media.

      Johnson stood there like the mumbling dolt he is, unable to placate the guys sheer frustration, of course Johnson doesn’t give (Flying Flamingo, Bercow) about the NHS.

      Infact Johnson was quoted by the media saying F*ck business.

      • Mary Pau!

        Surely the NHS problems transcend politics? Yes I know that there is real concern about the way it has been messed around by the Tories and about privatisation by the Tories. But there are also real problems with the cost of hospitals built using PFI which was enthusiastically adopted by Gordon Brown ,(a Scottish politician who was UK chancellor for a good few years) under New Labour.

    • N_

      I’ve just been looking at this guy’s background. Wow! But where is he actually coming from? He has in the past worked for what Lucy Sherriff at HuffPo calls “Scotland’s Catholic Church”. And he sounds like a raving bluenose. He obviously digs hard with one foot or the other, but which is it?

        • N_

          I’ve lived in Glasgow and I know the answer to my question. There was a clue in my asking whether O’Neill is a raving bluenose.

          In his closing comments today, O’Neill said “Lies have consequences but the truth will set us free. Rather than allow lies to triumph, this court should listen to the angels of its better nature.”

          I’m plumping for him being a Billy Boy, unless anyone can argue the contrary.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            With a name like that, he’d certainly get funny looks applying for a Season ticket at Ibrox.

          • Old Mark

            With a name like that, he’d certainly get funny looks applying for a Season ticket at Ibrox

            Undoubtedly- but the quotation from QC O’Neill that N repeats has a touch of the low church pulpit about it as well.

    • Loony

      Aidan O’Neill is a QC in both Scotland and England. He is currently pleading the case of Joanne Cherry. Cherry being the Scots lady that considers the prorogation of Parliament to be illegal.

      Given your venomous ad-hominem assault on Mr. O’Neill I assume that you are not well disposed to the legal process. Perhaps you prefer the slogans so beloved of your ideological heroes such as Mao “All political power grows out the barrel of a gun” Given that Mao managed to kill 10’s of millions of people then maybe it was more than just a slogan.

      If you hate the law and love Marxists then at least have the honesty to admit that you glory in and revel in mass murder.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Perhaps you prefer the slogans so beloved of your ideological heroes such as Mao “All political power grows out the barrel of a gun” Given that Mao managed to kill 10’s of millions of people then maybe it was more than just a slogan.”

        Or we could recall the British and the Bengal Famine, or the Kenyan camps, or the deaths due to the partitioning of India, or the slaughter by the British in Iraq circa 1920.

        Or the Cyprus internment camps (Children as young as 15 had burning hot peppers rubbed in their eyeballs, while others reported being flogged with whips embedded with shards of iron) or the Amristar massacre, or even the entire genocide of the indigenous folk of Tasmania by the British.

        I’m there must have been some fancy quotes or slogans attached to these atrocities back in the day.

        • Loony

          Yes we could recall all of the things that you mention – It would certainly provide a diversion from the attention brought to a pre-emptive ad hominem assault on a senior lawyer, and how closely such assaults are aligned with Marxist ideology.

          But back to your preferred topic. Do you think that the British killed more people in India than Islam has killed in India? Do you think the British Empire was more or less violent than the Mongol Empire?

          Do you think that the British have killed more people in Iraq than the Aztecs killed by way of human sacrifice?

          Do you ever entertain that notion that violence may just happen to be a part of the human condition, and that the law, whilst obviously flawed, nonetheless represents one of the best measures ever developed to constrain the human propensity for violence.

          If you do entertain such notions then perhaps you can understand that those who wish to undermine the law wish to do so in order that they may be provided with an opportunity to commit acts of violence themselves. In the case of Marxists they have so far managed to kill over 100 million people.

          • remember kronstadt

            It may be an anecdote but I recall that Mick McGahey’s mother, who lived a long life, had ‘murdered by capitalism’ on her grave.

          • Kempe

            Some of the reasoning there is spurious but capitalism has been around in one form or another for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Communism only really got going in the early years of the 20th Century was essentially a dead duck by the end of it.

          • N_

            @Kempe “Some of the reasoning there is spurious but capitalism has been around in one form or another for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Communism only really got going in the early years of the 20th Century was essentially a dead duck by the end of it.

            You’re mistaken on both counts. Capitalism has been around for no longer than two or three centuries (even if there was some role for money and wage-labour in ancient Greece, etc.), and there have been communist ideas and practices for much much longer. “When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?” etc.

            But I’m not going to be trolled by “Loony”…

          • J Galt

            There is a case for saying that “capitalism” and “communism” are simply the two sides of the same materialist coin.

            Which may explain some rather awkward facts concerning the financing of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 that our Marxist and Trotskyist friends prefer not to talk about!

          • Loony

            @RoS – If you know that Capitalism has killed more people than Communism then why do you provide a link that contains a lengthy analysis of the worlds second largest slave trading market?

            Why is the second largest slave trading market so much more interesting than the worlds largest slave trading market? The British abolished slavery in 1833 and used their military power to enforce this abolition. Between 1861-1865 the US fought a Civil War with the abolition of slavery being a war aim of the Union.

            By contrast Mauritania finally submitted to international pressure in 2007 and introduced criminal sanctions for slave holders. There is not much you can do about things that happened in the 19th century, but assuming you to be more than 12 years old then there was probably something you could have done with regard to slaves in Mauritania.

            Perhaps you did indeed travel to Nouakchott in order to assist in freeing slaves. Alternatively it may be that your main interest in slavery is because you are ideologically possessed. In order to be so damning of the British (its history, its legal system, its economic system, its culture) then it is necessary to demonstrate that the British are or were materially worse than anyone else. Slavery does not cut it.

          • Hatuey

            Galt, the theory that the communism revolution in Russia was funded by capitalists in the west isn’t very original. Hitler said exactly that too. It’s utter crap.

            There was nothing funded about it. It was disorganised chaos. Its success hinged on factors way beyond the control of the communists or any capitalists in the west.

            The myth that you’re a victim of, if you look at its provenance, can be traced to anti-Semitic crackpots in the US and other western countries. It doesn’t even make sense.

          • Kempe

            There was a major role for money in ancient Greece and some citizens had more of it than others.

            The real issue here is that Communism promised a better way; liberation from serfdom, poverty and want. So far it has not delivered.

          • pete

            Re “major role for money in ancient Greece“
            I really hope you are not trying to tell us we can learn a lesson about democracy, law or economics from the Greeks. You do know the Greek city states were rival war economies propped up by slavery? Oh wait, I see the parallels.

      • Kempe

        Also shows a very basic misunderstanding as to how the legal system works. The venom should’ve been directed at the Scottish politicians who hired Mr O’Neill.

        • N_

          Only doing his job, is he? I’m often critical of SNP politicians, but you can’t hold them responsible for some guy saying “This government is showing itself unworthy of our trust as it uses the powers of its office in a manner that is corrosive of the constitution and destructive of the system of parliamentary representative democracy on which our union polity is founded.” (Emphasis added.) I doubt they instructed him in conference to say stuff like that.

          Got to wonder why the judges didn’t shut him up. It’s not as if the decision will be reached by a jury. Judges aren’t supposed to be influenced by speechifying references to “mothers of parliament” or “fathers of lies”.

          • Kempe

            That’s the nature of his job. He’d be expected to be as thorough and passionate if he’d been employed by the Government to defend their case or if he found himself tasked with defending Jimmy Savile.

      • Squeeth

        Compared to the west European slave empires, Mao et al were rank amateurs. Ask the Irish and the Indians (both).

    • kathy

      Horrible comment to make about anyone let alone such a well qualified and eloquent lawyer as Aidan O’Neil. Jealousy perhaps?

    • kathy

      Horrible comment to make about anyone, but especially about a highly qualified lawyer (unusually, qualified in both Scottish and English law) and also very eloquent. What are your qualifications may I ask?

  • Loony

    It seems like only last week that the ignorant stupid masses were being invited to believe that the prorogation of Parliament was an example of Executive Fiat.

    Now that the Judiciary are involved in this decision the Executive Fiat argument has been consigned to the memory hole. Now we learn that Scottish and English law are completely incompatible and it may well be that in England the decision to prorogue Parliament was entirely lawful, but sadly not so in Scotland.

    The fact that this most definitely will not be the case is recognized – hence the putative smears that whatever judgement is reached will be some kind of Judicial fudge. In the event that the Supreme Court rules the prorogation of Parliament to be illegal then these smears too will be rapidly consigned to the memory hole and all attention will turn to the “Dictatorship” of the odious Boris Johnson and how England only escaped the jackboot of Executive Fiat thanks to the brave and plucky Scottish legal system.

    The fact that the Scottish legal system criminalizes homeless people for being in possession of a bright yellow child’s plastic pistol will remain what it has always been – completely uninteresting.

    • Republicofscotland

      It was Sir Walter Scott if I recall correctly who pushed through the retaining of Scots law, along with the Scots pound, after the casting of the unholy union.

      • Iain Stewart

        Not quite, it was Scottish banknotes, a lot later on (the pound Scots had disappeared in 1707). Always a sensitive subject, och aye.
        In 1826, after a series of bank failures in England, the British government proposed a drastic reform of the banking system. It was decided to forbid private banks from issuing banknotes smaller than £5, as many struggling English banks had proved unable to redeem them. Like many of his countrymen, Scott feared this measure would be disastrous for Scotland where the scarcity of gold and silver made small notes the principal medium of circulation. It would strike at the prosperity of Scotland’s banks which depended on their ability to create credit. The inevitable result would be a drop in prices accompanied by economic depression.
        http://www.walterscott.lib.ed.ac.uk/works/prose/malachi.html

  • remember kronstadt

    Today’s proceedings were an exemplar of how words of less than six syllables are at the pound shop end of the queens english.

  • michael norton

    59 per cent of Scottish voters would vote to remain in the United Kingdom
    https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/ian-blackford-general-election-will-act-as-springboard-for-independence-referendum-1-5006794

    Ian Blackford said support for Scottish independence was growing and that his party was looking forward to another Westminster poll – widely expected to be called by the end of the year.

    I am a bit confused.
    Firstly I thought the SNP did not want a General Election?
    Secondly why does Ian Blackford think support for Independence is growing, is he having a conversation with himself?

    • Brianfujisan

      You Obviously Do not live in Scotland Michael

      Support for Independence is Indeed growing
      Even the Daily Record, who gave us the front page ‘ VOW ‘ Lie, are trying to redeem themselves now.

      • michael norton

        Brian, I live in the soft South of England where the living is high.
        The U.K. pound is now worth more against the Euro than it was twelve months ago and also worth more against the Euro that it was five years ago.
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49674176
        The European Central Bank has unveiled fresh stimulus measures to bolster the eurozone, including cutting a key interest rate.

        The deposit facility rate, paid by banks on reserves parked at the ECB, was already negative, but has now been cut from minus 0.4% to minus 0.5%.

        That is correct they have cut their interest rate to minus point five.

        That means they are in very, very deep shit.

        Maybe things are not so bad as some would like to make out?

        • Hatuey

          I’ve now studied in some detail the survation poll you refer to and can go through the probable (lol) problems with it, if you like. It’s very straight forward.

          The first thing you’re taught when studying polls is to look at who is paying for them and then look at the methodology and type of poll in question.

          I’m a bit of a poll nerd so get back to me if interested. Multivariate analysis was once my favourite subject but I wouldn’t want to bore people indiscriminately.

  • George Brown

    George Brown says:
    18 September, 2019.
    BORIS IS TOAST.

    The supreme court is dealing with 2 appeals , one for the government and one for the opposition. 1-1 as the media would have it. The London case was only about the PM’s right to set prorogation, this is total and the case was lost. no probs.
    the Edinburgh case was about the reasons given to the Queen about Prorogation and the Judges deemed that the time was too long and the reasons given were not valid so the government lost.( Boris Lied !)
    So 1-0 to the opposition.

  • mike

    The guy chinning Bozo today wasn’t a father who’d nearly lost a baby.

    He was a Labour activist.

    We see you, Kuenssberg.

    • Brianfujisan

      Mike

      Despicable, but not surprising from the bbC..

      Kuenssberg. on Twitter – ” Here he is “

    • Laguerre

      Oh yeah? You have evidence that he wasn’t a suffering father, even if he was also a Labour activist?

    • kathy

      Are you trying to say that if you happen to be a labour activist that you have no right to high quality medical treatment for your child by the NHS?

    • Brianfujisan

      Mike

      Hence all the Anti-Semitism lies

      But I Sometimes wonder if losing Scotland’s vast resources ( Wind, Tide, Solar, Fishing, Food, Drink, Ect ) is a Bigger threat.

      • Old Mark

        Brianfujistan

        We English just can’t give up on all the natural Solar power being generated in Scotland can we, what with the Sussex coast getting twice as much sunshine as the Northern Isles. We’ll be shivering in our hovels once this bounty is denied us.

  • mike

    Maybe so, Brian.

    An independent Scotland and a socialist government in London: I’d love to see both. England is suffering from austerity even more than we are.

    • Hatuey

      We’ve been down this road before, though, waiting for Tory England to switch and vote Labour. It didn’t work in 2015. Since 1979, it has happened only once and even then it depended on Labour morphing into the Thatcher party.

      Scotland had (and arguably still has) a window of opportunity and could have taken independence without any need of assistance from Tories in England. That window is closing. It will close completely when Brexit is resolved. Brexit will be resolved at some point.

      I’m not arguing for anything out of the ordinary here. In the history books, most independence movements involve mass movements, mass protests, civil disobedience if necessary, and a vanguard political party that agitates, drives, and creates momentum.

      By shunning the grassroots and refusing to mobilise the people of Scotland, the SNP have effectively chosen to dump their strongest card — and greatest potential source of strength — and fight on the British State’s terms with both hands tied behind its back.

      There’s a time and a place for “softly, softly”. This isn’t it.

      We could be front page all over the world, demanding a say in our future, demanding a say in our children’s future. Instead we have chosen to be a footnote grudgingly included on page 26.

      There’s something suspicious and weird about the path the SNP has took us down.

      • Brianfujisan

        Hatuey

        Patience is the Hardest to maintain.. I Now feel I have go with that..it’s hard..after the tears of 2014..
        But the SNP have been doing a good job of running the country.. Better than anyone else has ever done. Anger comes Second to Patience. I’ll go to the Hope over fear rally..but we should not rely on Hope..This Fight is going to get downright nasty..methinks..thanks to the bbC..MSM.. U.K inteligence .

        BRING IT ON.

        • Hatuey

          I respectfully disagree, Brian. Patience isn’t a virtue when you’re on a sinking ship and the last lifeboat is about to leave.

          The argument for waiting, if we are honest, is based on polls that make grim reading. I’m arguing that the polls would improve dramatically if we argued and protested with passion and enthusiasm, thereby forcing the ordinary person to give Scotland’s dire predicament more thought.

          One way or another, we are now 3 years down the road with this SNP strategy and the polls have barely moved. That is a shocking failure when you consider that support for independence would be expected to increase naturally, on its own, in response to Brexit, regardless of what the SNP did.

          The British state want to put the indy debate on hold until after Brexit is resolved and there’s a reason for that; at that point Scotland will be a caged animal that they can do what they want with.

          If Scotland waits, I don’t think we will get another chance at independence ever. If the SNP can’t win the argument for a referendum now, with Brexit going on and the media distracted, they will have an even slimmer chance of winning that argument when the British state is able to mobilise all its resources against us.

          I don’t enjoy making forecasts like this. I hope I’m wrong. If our only chance of independence rests on Labour doing well in England, maybe the opportunity we had is already lost.

          Nobody in the independence movement can be happy that we are now urging on the party that has done most over the decades to undermine us.

          • Brianfujisan

            ” I respectfully disagree, Brian. Patience isn’t a virtue when you’re on a sinking ship and the last lifeboat is about to leave.”..” The argument for waiting, if we are honest, is based on polls that make grim reading.”

            It depends what Poll one is relying on Hatuey.

            And also..This Screaming for WWIII..Which is what war with Iran is.. Dose London imagine that war on Faslane will shelter England ??.. With Climate Change One Never Knows how the wind will Blow

  • Twirlip

    (I’m sorry if this is of no real interest, but it really surprised me, and I would like to be clearer about it.)

    I’ve just been catching up on the episode of Radcliffe and Maconie’s radio programme from Sunday 25 August: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0007xw2. From the BBC’s news and propaganda bulletin, 31m10s to 31m22s into the clip, this rather leapt out at me:

    “Boris Johnson is reportedly trying to get legal advice on whether Parliament could be shut down next month to stop MPs delaying Brexit, but the Government says the claim, published in today’s Observer, is entirely false.”

    The next bulletin, from 1h31m41s to 1h31m55s, refines the wording, making it, well, entirely unambiguous:

    “Mr. Johnson [has] reportedly sought legal advice on whether Parliament could be shut down next month to stop MPs delaying Brexit, but the Government says it’s entirely false to suggest he’s considering suspending the Commons in September.”

    Surely this can only be one of two things:

    (1) a bare-faced Government lie about a matter of great national importance, or:

    (2) the BBC, for reasons of its own, deliberately and very carefully misrepresenting the meaning of a Government denial that the purpose of the prorogation would be “to stop MPs delaying Brexit”.

    (I don’t doubt that that was the purpose, but the question here is whether the BBC did or did not accurately report a Government statement – regardless of whether that statement was an honest one or not.)

    Can anyone find proof either way? (I’m sorry if it’s in plain view somewhere and I’ve missed it.)

      • Twirlip

        What little evidence I have found online suggests that the only relevant statement made by a Government spokesman was this one:

        “The claim that the government is considering proroguing parliament in September in order to stop MPs debating Brexit is entirely false.”

        If that was indeed the only relevant statement, then by deleting the clause “in order to stop MPs debating Brexit”, the BBC completely changed the meaning of the sentence (arguably only turning it into an even bigger lie than it already was).

        Moreover, the significant change in wording between the two successive bulletins can only have been designed to make the misrepresentation more complete.

        M’lud, I rest my case. 🙂

        But am I mistaken? Was there another statement, which supports interpretation (1) rather than (2)?

        • Hatuey

          “If that was indeed the only relevant statement, then by deleting the clause “in order to stop MPs debating Brexit”, the BBC completely changed the meaning “

          But both clauses include the line “to stop MPs delaying Brexit”.

          • Twirlip

            The clause “the Government says it’s entirely false to suggest he’s considering suspending the Commons in September” does not contain the subclause “to stop MPs delaying Brexit”. (I can hardly believe I had to point that out.)

          • Hatuey

            The sub clause “to stop MPs delaying Brexit” is there but in a different place. I’d don’t think that change of order radically changes the meaning or the emphasis.

            I think you’re dancing on the pubic hair of a pin head.

          • Twirlip

            And I think it’s a very simple point – and, as I said apologetically at the start, probably not an important one – that has now been tiresomely stretched out to an absurd length for no good reason.

            Please, whichever of us is at fault, let’s stop here!

    • N_

      @Twirlip – If you want to dig deeper starting from those words from the BBC, look for what was reported in the newspapers that Sunday and Saturday, because the BBC’s word “reportedly” might refer to a story in a particular paper or a statement by someone like Laura Kuenssberg of their own organisation that “I’m hearing that…”, meaning she’s loyally relaying Tory propaganda under some kind of analogue of the Chatham House rule.

      As far as I know, the first person to suggest proroguing Parliament if it got in the way of Brexit was Jacob Rees-Mogg in a speech to the Bruges Group which from memory I think was in January 2019 but you’d have to check.

      Everyone knew if it was going to happen it would be for Brexit. As for a “queen’s speech”, that explanation is c*ck. There is no known serious “legislative programme”, and even if there were, it doesn’t have to be introduced with such a speech.

      • michael norton

        the new administration, the Johnson Regime, need to introduce their programme to Parliament and the country.
        Much has recently been spouted about an end to Austerity but it needs to be in writing for anyone to even begin to believe it.
        Increase the number of training places for G.P.s by a third, the bigiest hospital modernising programme, ever, more money on ports and more immigration officials,
        20,000 new police officers.
        Dozens more prisons, more money on prison officers, more on the probation service, more on courts, longer sentences for nonces.
        Five type 31E frigates to be constructed in Rosyth.
        A new bridge between Northern Ireland and our mainland.
        A re-vamping of our Sovereign bases in Cyprus, very important this, they will be basing F-35b here as well as drones, one of the largest known Methane fields surrounds Cyprus and the Turks are already exploring in Cypriot waters and dare the Cypriots to deter them.

        • Xavi

          Dozens more prisons, new war material, military bases in other people’s countries…? Wow .. I thought Tories were supposed to be against gigantic wastes of public funds .. This country already has the highest prison population in W Europe and the highest recidivism rates.. It has nothing to show for all the billions bliown on pointless wars since 2001 (except a biblical refugee crisis, slave markets and vastly enhanced terror threat at home). As for the idea of a budget melting bridge between Ireland and the “mainland”, I refer you to the national triumphs of HS2 and the Garden bridge..

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            Yeh the bridge to Portpatrick is the second dumbest idea I can remember. If a work colleague suggested something this dumb you’d slap them. 35 km of North Atlantic sea and a million tonnes plus of unstable WW munitions on the seabed.
            The really annoying part is the roads to Cairnryan whether from Ayr South or from Annan West are in dire need of upgrading and that is entirely feasible and would substantially improve transport links between NI and Scotland.
            The absolute dumbest thing I can remember is the Portpatrick bridge’s predecessor, the North Antrim to Kintyre bridge. 21 km of North Atlantic sea to make land on the tip of the Kintyre peninsula. What an epically fucking stupid idea!

        • nevermind

          And what do your children saying to your neocon agenda, Michael, do you have any grandchildren?
          How good of you to guarantee them a future full of crime and punishment, more political policing and contemplation camps for those who are lost thinking of equality, opportunities and much derided human rights.
          You poor thing.

  • Peter

    Beers, brandies and whiskies for breakfast all round – Humphrys last day on Today.

    Hip hip …

    Next up, N Robinson? Beers may have to be kept on ice for sometime for that one.

    Humphrys last set piece interview – Cameron this morning. The role of the Queen in politics may come up – any minute now.

  • Mary Pau!

    As a soft southerner living in England – and a supporter of Scottish independence – I am not fully up to speed on Scottish politics. I thought there was a referendum across the border about independence and the Scots voted to stay in the Union? This was clearly a controversial result , like all referendums recently. but at present surely the result still stands?

  • M.J.

    I hope that the judges of the Supreme Court will prefer the view of the Scottish judges, since that will be good for the (unwritten) Constitution of the UK as a whole.

  • Hatuey

    We now have it confirmed that the Queen intervened politically in order to sway the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. That was a breech of purdah rules but also a breech of government neutrality, equivalent to the police, army, or civil service intervening.

    What’s interesting is that the Queen, her advisors, Cameron, his advisors, and everybody involved, knew that what they were planning to do what essentially illegal. The press and media which was 99% opposed to Scottish independence dutifully played its part too.

    The arguments for re-running the EU referendum are extremely flimsy compared to the above, as are the arguments for playing by Westminster rules in regards to a future Scottish independence referendum.

    By pinning the SNP’s hopes on appearing responsible, Sturgeon has left herself hamstrung and incapable of challenging the blatant corruption and double standards of the British state.

    The polls reveal that the SNP have not capitalised on Brexit or any of this and that they’re unlikely to in future without a change of leadership and a dramatic change of strategy.

    It’s difficult to tell the difference between a party committed to appearing responsible and one that lacks decisiveness when the whole political system is in a state of chaotic flux — difficult because there is no difference.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      Do you really think the tabloids would have run the headline “Queen backs Brexit” if there hadn’t been some sort of nod (or lack of protest) from the palace?

      It’s also not all Cameron’s fault about the Scottish independence referendum. The Queen knew full well what she doing and that it was completely contrary to her constitutional role. I know many in the UK like to think of her as a nice impartial old granny but events over the last few years have shown that she is not impartial at all (as Craig has pointed out). Instead, she obviously favours the hard right Tories.

      • M.J.

        You didn’t really expect the Queen to be indifferent to the breakup of the UK, did you? Is it even realistic to expect her to have kept a poker face if Cameron talked to her about it and said ‘You decide, I’m neutral?’ No way, as surely as she is a real human being!

          • Hatuey

            The evidence is in Cameron’s statement where he suggests they planned it in advance. The interference of the Queen was unlawful and unconstitutional; the premeditated planning was illegal.

      • Garth Carthy

        “Instead, she obviously favours the hard right Tories.”

        Hmm. Like mother, like daughter…
        The monarchy is definitely beyond it’s sell-buy date. The concept of monarchy simply perpetuates the class system.
        O.K., so a President might not be any better – or indeed may be worse – but this is not just about replacing a monarch with a president – it’s about changing our culture into having more enlightened attitudes to equality.
        That said, I wouldn’t propose any immediate changes as being appropriate – such changes have to be in accordance with the will of the majority of the people and that majority would not appear to be present as yet.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Government side reported to be anticipating defeat in the Supreme Court.
    Cummings gets to chalk up another case of “the undemocratic elite treacherously doing down the people’s Government”. This is good ammunition in the forthcoming “peoples v’s Parliament” GE.
    So, if the proroguation is found to be illegal, what actually happens next? Party Conference season aside, Parliament reconvenes to do what exactly? The one and only thing a majority of MPs can agree is, Mad Max Brexit is a bad idea. Thanks to Jo Swinson, they won’t be able to agree on a caretaker PM and they won’t be able to agree on a reason for requesting an A50 extension (GE or Referendum?). Additional days of meaningless prattle. If you were planning to turn public opinion against Parliamentary democracy similar to early 1930’s Weimar Republic, this would be the way to go about it.
    Has Jo Swinson suggested herself as caretaker PM yet? I can’t wait for the general hilarity and derision when she does. It would almost be worth all these tortured weeks of uncertainty to see her face like a burst coupon, the conceited self delusion having reached critical mass and imploded.

  • Sharp Ears

    Lord Garnier, currently holding forth on behalf of John Major, was one of Major’s MPs in 1992. He was also Solicitor General under the Clegg/Cameron coalition until 2012. He stood down in 2017.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Garnier

    His cousin, Mark Garnier, is currently MP for Wyre Forest.

    Keeping it in the family.

    Wyre Forest prior to 2010 was represented by that fine and decent man, Richard Taylor, who stood under the banner of Health Concern whose mission was to save OUR NHS from the Tory privateers.

  • Sharp Ears

    All finished. Lady Hale gave thanks for all the contributions, etc. The decision of the court will be made available next week.

    ‘It never happened. While it was happening…..’ She reminded those in the court that the court’s ruling will have nothing to do with the type of Brexit, when it happens, etc.

    I would love to know the combined total of the barristers’ fees incurred. Hundreds of thousands of £s?

  • michael norton

    Astonishing, if true

    The Remainer Lib Dems are now more popular than Labour after vowing to stop Brexit happening, a new poll suggested today.

    Jo Swinson’s party jumped from 19 per cent to 23 per cent to leapfrog Jeremy Corbyn’s bitterly divided outfit, according to the YouGov vote tracker.

    Just saw Ed Davey on Question Time.
    The Audience were merciless in their condemnation of Jo Swinson’s latest shameless ruse, to kill democracy.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      I’t not really “killing democracy” if the LibDems win a general election is it?

      I think the reason Labour is doing badly is that they’re sabotaging themselves. I don’t think most voters actually care about the “anti-semitism” nonsense. Also, the party seems to be trying to be very vague about Brexit, although most of what I’ve heard from Starmer and Corbyn has been essentially very sensible: leave the EU and stay in the CU and aligned with the SM.

      I would not be surprised if Tony Blair himself “defects” to the LibDems because it seems to be a very Blairite party. It would be good riddance for Labour, I might add.

  • George Brown

    BORIS IS TOAST.

    The supreme court is dealing with 2 appeals , one for the goverment and one for the opposition. 1-1 as the media would have it. The london case was only about the PM’s right to set prorogation,the procedure was followed and the case was lost. no probs.
    the Edinburgh case was about the reasons given to the Queen about Prorgation and the Judges deemed that the time was to long and the reasons given were not valid so the goverment lost.( Boris Lied !)
    So 1-0 to the opposition.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Not that I’m advocating spending ANY money on Facebook but the SNP’s spending in the last year is oddly stingy.

    https://sluggerotoole.com/2019/09/19/the-ni-department-of-justice-endingtheharm-campaign-viewed-over-a-million-times-on-snapchat-in-august-2019/

    SNP £5 K, Green Party £77 K, Changlings £214 K, LibDems £367 K.
    What’s going on? The largest political party in the British Isles on a prorata basis. Are funds being spent on a smarter basis elsewhere, is a fighting fund being accumulated for a big Indy push, or are funds being eaten up on salaries for a bloated, in-house media team that sits with their thumbs up their collective erse?

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